IN JANUARY 2005 The Illinois Department of Natural Resources laid off 84 employee's due to"Lack of Funds" Two of the employee's Doug Schnell of Taylorville and Olga Aranzubia of Herrin. Schnell and Aranzubia were employed by the Natural Resources Abandoned Land Mine Reclamation Division. This Division is 100% funded by Federal Grant and had no reduction in funding by the United States Department of The Interior, Office of Surface Mining.

At the time of the Lay off Governor Blagojevich ordered that the two employees be hired back -- a paraplegic man who had to give up his state-purchased wheelchair when he lost his job and a second employee who is blind.

The two disabled employees were paid by the State General Revenue Fund.

Days after that announcement Governor Blagojevich speaking in Edwardsville, said he had just learned about the case of Doug Schnell, a Taylorville man with cerebral palsy who worked in DNR's Abandoned Mines Lands Reclamation program. Schnell, who uses a walker, was also laid off.

On February 16, 2005 the day, The Governor gave the State budget address I meet with The Governor one on one, walker in hand at the third floor of the State Capitol. After leaving a detailed packet of information in his office at room 207 as he walked up to me and we shook hands; I handed him a copy of the material titled " Governor Blagojevich My Family and I need your Help At The Department of Natural Resources" As I handed him the packet. The Governor looked at the cover page and stated " What do you want? Do You Want A Job"?

I stated Governor, I have a job, and I just want my job back.

The Governor told me that he was going to attempt to get more funding for DNR, I said will all due respect, Governor my position is 100% federally funded, it does not involve the State General Fund. The Governor then asked if my telephone number was included in the material, I told him yes.

As of today, he has yet to call. At the time of the lay off when The Governor reinstated two other disabled employees he was quoted in saying "Yes, these are tough times and we have to make tough decisions, but that has to be balanced with compassion and common sense. The Governor went on to state that "While we're going to do what it takes not to raise income tax and not raise the sales tax, and while it's important to run government more efficiently, you can't look at everything in terns of dollars and Cents".

My Case will come before the Illinois Civil Service Commission in Mid January With income reduced since the lay off I will represent myself Pro Se.

In Recent documents released by the Department under Subpoena and information from other sources will show the Second employee laid off from the 100% Federally funded AMLRD program was re-hired by Natural Resources In August of 2005.

Other Documents obtained that will be used to defend my position that the Lay Off in this case was done against State Statute and Civil Service Commission Guidelines and was and continues to be in violation of the contract the State has with The Department of the Interior for the Abandoned Mined Lands Reclamation Grant.

In An audit conducted by The State Auditor General it was found that $109,200 had been taken from the Abandoned Mined Lands Reclamation Council Federal Trust fund and moved to Central Management Services for a billing relative to the procurement Efficiency Initiative. The specific appropriation was "For expenses associated with Environmental Mitigation Projects, Studies, Research and Administrative Support.

The Funds for the Abandoned Mined Lands Program are Restricted by Law for that program.

At the time of the Lay Off IDNR spokesman Joe Bauer said the agency would save state money by moving employees currently paid with state funds to the federal program . He said no one has been transferred yet and could not say who the employees would be.

He went on to State that it "was easier for the agency to absorb the duties and responsibilities" of Schnell's job than to lay off someone from the state payroll.

Bauer has now been appointed as an Assistant To Agency Director Joel Brunsvold.

One document obtained shows that Senior Management official at IDNR told the agency they were contacting the US Attorney would be in regards to this situation.

The Cost of Representing yourself? not cheap, Issuing Subpoenas for witness and records, paying for round trip mileage of each witness, copies of documents for the hearing has now added up to several hundred dollars spent for preparation of the Civil Service Hearing.

"Our family has now experienced "Lack of Funds" just Days before Christmas.

Thanks Governor.

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